As a Registered Dietitian, I, Alex, often get asked about tips to making a more healthy dessert or other indulgent item. Of course, there are plenty of tried and true tricks out there — subbing in whole-wheat pastry flour, applesauce for oil, cutting down the sugar and using flaxseed eggs for the regular variety.
We’ve all heard them and I believe there is a time and a place for these replacements. But, for the most part, I prefer the real thing! I’ll take all the sugar, butter, and cream, please! I know, slightly shocking to hear from a nutrition professional, but I have my reasons…
First and foremost, the taste. Healthy treats often taste healthy, which is fine (if that’s what I’m going for.) However, if I’m really craving a sugar-filled treat, raw date cookies just aren’t going to cut it!
Which, brings me to my second point: If I am really craving a cookie and instead swap in a healthier treat, I’m less likely to feel satisfied. So, I’ll either continue to eat more of the healthy treat than I planned or finally give into the real thing!
I see this all the time with clients, restricting certain foods until they finally give in, throwing portion control out the window, only to feel guilty later. Allowing yourself to eat what you truly want is powerful and I believe you’ll actually eat less of these unhealthy treats if you allow yourself to indulge once in a while.
So, these cookies are basically the epitome of a treat: Snickerdoodle and Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich. It’s the perfect way to link summer and fall; a cooling dessert with warm, comforting flavors.
No healthy short cuts here, just snickerdoodle cookies the way my mom makes them! Plus whole-milk pumpkin ice cream for added good measure and a They’re also built in portion control. I made these guys slightly smaller than store-bought ice cream sandwiches and they’re the perfect way to indulge your sweet tooth without going overboard.
What is your go-to dessert when you’re having a sweet craving? Do you prefer to go with a healthier option or indulge occasionally?
Snickerdoodle and Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- 1 cup cane sugar (divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
- 0.3 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cream of tarter
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 3 tsp cinnamon (divided into 1/2 teaspoon and 3 teaspoons)
- 1 quart pumpkin ice cream (store bought or homemade)
Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1 cup pumpkin purée (no pumpkin pie filling!)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 0.25 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place softened butter, 3/4 cup cane sugar, and brown sugar in the base of a stand mixer (or large bowl, using a hand-mixer). Cream the butter and sugar together until completely combined, for about 1 minute.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk the flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, salt and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Slowly add the flour mixture into the sugar mixture until just combined.
- Lightly spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
- For sandwiches, you'll want the cookies to be uniform in size. I recommend using a tablespoon cookie scoop to form the balls. Scoop out cookie dough and roll in the sugar and cinnamon.
- Place on the prepared cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Continue with the rest of the batter, placing the cookies ~3" apart.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes until soft and tender. Ice cream sandwiches do better with a softer cookie, so watch your oven to make sure they don't become to crisp!
- Remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Place the milk, brown sugar and molasses in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until sugar is dissolved, either by hand or a hand-mixer on low speed.
- Whisk in the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and stir until completely combined.
- Slowly add in the heavy cream and vanilla, stirring until just mixed together. Place mixture in the fridge to cool for at least 1-2 hours.
- Process ice cream mixture according to your manufactures instructions.
- To assemble the sandwiches, scoop ice cream onto a cookie half and place another cookie half on top. Gently press down to seal, then place on a baking sheet or freezer-safe container. Continue with the rest of the cookies, layering them in a single layer so they don't stick together. Freeze until set, about 30 minutes.
- Enjoy as is or wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap for longer storage in the freezer. Wrapped, they will keep roughly 3 months. Hope you enjoy these snickerdoodle and pumpkin ice cream sandwiches as much as I do!